Two Reasons Texans Should Not Delay Reviewing Their Estate Plan

When people focus on creating or updating their estate plan, many wait so they have certainty about their tax situation. Because laws are constantly being passed that may impact their taxes—both now and in regard to their estate plan—individuals assume it is best to wait to review the plan until these bills have been passed. However, because of these constant changes, waiting is not advised. Additionally, there are non-tax aspects of estate planning that should be finalized as soon as possible. Below are some of these aspects and explanations for why estate planning should not be delayed.

Reason #1: Guardianship for Children

For individuals with children, it is essential to have an estate plan in place. Because if the person dies, having an estate plan allows them to name a potential guardian. This would be the person who would take care of the children. In many cases, this would be the surviving spouse; however, there should be a section addressing if the surviving spouse pre-deceases the other or if the partners die in a common accident. Without an estate plan, there may be fighting amongst family members or loved ones about who should raise the children if a tragedy occurs, and their parents pass away. Avoiding this potential struggle is easy by creating an estate plan.

Additionally, even if a person has an estate plan, the issue of guardianship for children is one that should be reviewed over time. Sometimes, relationships change, or people move further away which makes it difficult to care for children.

Reason #2: Designating Recipients of Assets

By creating an estate plan, the person can decide who will receive their assets after they pass away. These assets may include financial, property, or family heirlooms and other personal effects. With an estate plan, these assets will be passed directly to the person named in the will; however, without an estate plan in place, the process is not as easy. Instead, the court will determine who will receive the assets based on familial ties, not how close the two people were personally or emotionally. Additionally, because relationships and dynamics change, it is important to review the estate plan every few years.

Because there are many aspects to estate planning other than taxes, it is critical for individuals to create an estate plan as soon as possible. Experienced attorneys can assist with this process and ease potential stress about estate planning.

Contact a Houston Estate Planning Attorney

If you or a loved one needs assistance in creating an estate plan, contact the Houston attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC. Because our attorneys have decades of experience in the estate planning field, they can advise you on a wide array of estate planning topics and ensure that you have a plan that fits your needs. And if you already have an estate plan in place, we can assist in updating your estate plan based on changes to federal and Texas law. To schedule a consultation and to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, give us a call today at 713-333-8900.

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